38. Force vs. Magic
What was the Force? The underlying constant connecting all things in the Star Wars universe
Who was Magic? The mystical power connecting all things in the Lord of the Rings universe
Verdict: Magic isn’t so important in Lord of the Rings despite the fact that it’s a fantasy tale set in a world overflowing with wizards, ghosts, elves and of course enchanted rings.
That’s mostly down to the fact that magic is kind of a known quantity already in Middle-earth. No one’s necessarily surprised when they see it because everyone is already confident it exists.
The Force, on the other hand, is both persuasive and an utter mystery in the Star Wars universe. Those that can wield or feel it are relatively few, and those that can’t are so ignorant that they wouldn’t know it if they saw it. It’s scarcity makes it a powerful tool for those that would use it for evil like Palpatine, and a heavy burden for those that would use it for good like Luke.
Where the Lord of the Rings universe is alive with relatively accessible magic, the Star Wars universe makes the Force an ambiguous mystery. For poeticism alone, the Force gets it.
Star Wars wins
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